For the first time in a long time, McHenry junior Jesse Reiser finally felt like he had a subpar race.
Competing against some of the nation’s best runners in the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships in San Diego, Reiser finished 33rd in 16:00 on Saturday.
Grant Fisher from Grand Blanc, Mich., won the 40-man race in 15:07. Reiser had finished third behind Fisher and one other runner in the Foot Locker Regional race two weeks before Saturday in Kenosha, Wis.
“I was really hoping for top 15,” Reiser said. “Especially after taking 13th at Nike last week. It didn’t go as well. It was a rough race. I wasn’t used to the [80-degree] temperatures from training in zero degrees this week. I’ve never ran such a difficult course, but this is a good experience for next year.”
Reiser had an outstanding high school cross country season, losing only twice, capped with a second-place finish in the Class 3A state meet last month.
Since then, he qualified for Nike Cross Country Nationals and for Saturday’s Foot Locker meet.
“It’s definitely been a great experience,” Reiser said. “I’m really looking forward to next year. This gives me a lot of confidence for next year.”
Reiser plans on taking some time off to rest his body before resuming training for the track and field season. He will be one of the state’s top Class 3A runners in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.